The Relevance of the Ancient Jewish Text to Our World
Author: Paul Socken
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Since religion in general and Judaism in particular are relevant in the twenty-first century, this book serves as an assessment of the Talmud's role in our religious and educational experience. This collection of essays demonstrates that the two-thousand-year-old Talmud remains the indispensable and foundational text for Jewish study. Eminent scholars from Israel and North America relate their encounters with this ancient, complex source in an accessible and personal manner.
Volume 19 of The Jewish Law Annual is a festschrift in honor of Professor Neil S. Hecht. It contains thirteen articles, ten in English and three in Hebrew. Several articles are jurisprudential in nature, focusing on analysis of halakhic institutions and concepts. Elisha Ancselovits discusses the concept of the prosbul, asking whether it is correct to construe it as a legal fiction, as several scholars have asserted. He takes issue with this characterization of the prosbul, and with other scholarly readings of Tannaitic law in general. The concepts of dignity and shame are addressed in two very different articles, one by Nahum Rakover, and the other by Hanina Ben-Menahem. The former discusses halakhic sources pertaining to the dignity inherent in human existence, and the importance of nurturing it. The latter presents a fascinating survey of actual legal practices that contravened this haklakhic norm. Attestations of these practices are adduced not only from halakhic and semi-halakhic documents, but also from literary, historical, and ethnographic sources. Three articles tackle topical issues of considerable contemporary interest. Bernard S. Jackson comments on legal issues relating to the concept of conversion arising from the story of the biblical heroine Ruth, and compares that concept to the notion of conversion invoked by a recent English court decision on eligibility for admission to denominational schools. An article by Dov I. Frimer explores the much agonized-over question of halakhic remedies for the wife whose husband refuses to grant her a get (bill of divorce), precluding her remarriage. Frimer’s focus is the feasibility of inducing the husband to grant the get through monetary pressure, specifically, by awarding the chained wife compensatory tort damages. Tort remedies are also discussed in the third topical article, by Ronnie Warburg, on negligent misrepresentation by investment advisors. Two papers focus on theory of law. Shai Wozner explores the decision rules–conduct rules dichotomy in the Jewish law context, clarifying how analysis of which category a given law falls under enhances our understanding of the law’s intent. Daniel Sinclair explores the doctrine of normative transparency in the writings of Maimonides, the Hatam Sofer, and R. Abraham Isaac Kook, demonstrating that although transparency was universally endorsed as an ideal, some rabbinical authorities were willing to forego transparency where maintenance of the halakhic system itself was imperiled. An article by Alfredo M. Rabello reviews the primary and secondary literature on end-of-life issues, and contextualizes the much-discussed talmudic passage bAvoda Zara 18a. And an article by Chaim Saiman offers a critical survey of the main approaches to conceptualizing and teaching Jewish law in American universities; it also makes suggestions for new, and perhaps more illuminating pedagogic direction. In the Hebrew section, an intriguing article by Berachyahu Lifshitz presents a comparison of Persian and talmudic law on the status of promises and the role of the divine in their enforcement. Yuval Sinai discusses the halakhic law of evidence, particularly the well-known "two witnesses" requirement and departures from it. The volume closes with a historical article by Elimelech Westreich on the official rabbinical court in nineteenth century Jerusalem. It focuses on the rabbinical figures who served on the court, the communities for whom it adjudicated, and its role in the broader geopolitical and sociocultural context.
A Twenty-First-Century Introduction to Jews and Jewish Identities
Author: Aaron J. Hahn Tapper
Publisher: Univ of California Press
"An introductory textbook that examines how Jews are a culture, ethnicity, nation, nationality, race, and religion. With each chapter revolving around a single theme--Narratives, Sinais, Zions, Messiahs, Laws, Mysticisms, Cultures, Movements, Genocides, Powers, Borders, and Futures--this introductory textbook interrogates readers' understanding of the Jewish community. Written for a new mode of teaching--one that recognizes the core role that identity formation plays in our lives--this book weaves together alternative, marginalized voices to illustrate how Jews have always been in the process of reshaping their customs, practices, and beliefs. Judaisms is the first book to assess and summarize Jewish history from the time of the Hebrew Bible through today using multiple perspectives"--Provided by publisher.
Between the years AD 1000 and 1500, western Christendom absorbed by conquest and attracted through immigration a growing number of Jews. This community was to make a valuable contribution to rapidly developing European civilisation but was also to suffer some terrible setbacks, culminating in a series of expulsions from the more advanced westerly areas of Europe. At the same time, vigorous new branches of world Jewry emerged and a rich new Jewish cultural legacy was created. In this important historical synthesis, Robert Chazan discusses the Jewish experience over a 500 year period across the entire continent of Europe. As well as being the story of medieval Jewry, the book simultaneously illuminates important aspects of majority life in Europe during this period. This book is essential reading for all students of medieval Jewish history and an important reference for any scholar of medieval Europe.
Jewish Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century showcases living Jewish thinkers who produce innovative ideas taking into consideration theology, hermeneutics, politics, ethics, science and technology, law, gender, and ecology.
Joseph and Martha Mendelson Associate Professor of American Jewish History and Director of the Archives of Conservative Judaism Jack Wertheimer
Jews and Judaism have been profoundly affected by the horrific course of the Holocaust, and by the formation of Israel as a Jewish nation-state. These have been the major themes in the Times' treatment of Judaism, in thousands of articles, from the 1970s to the present.
A project of the Bureau of Jewish Education of San Francisco, Jewish Family Education offers cases and commentaries that highlight issues of working with families in educational settings.This collection of cases, all of which document dilemmas in family education, can play a role in the education of both experienced and novice family educators. Included are case studies with commentaries, matched text studies, analysis and facilitators notes to running study sessions.
Based on an international colloquium held at the University of Sheffield, this collection represents the first book-length encounter between biblical studies and the proliferating and controversial field of cultural studies. A multidisciplinary team of contributors engage in a multifaceted examination of the Bible's place in culture, ancient and modern, 'high' and 'low'. Contributors include Alice Bach, Fiona Black, Athalya Brenner, Robert Carroll, David Clines, Margaret Davies, Philip Davies, Philip Esler, Cheryl Exum, Yael Feldman, Jennifer Glancy, Jan Willem van Henten, David Jasper, Francis Landy, Barry Matlock, Stephen Moore, Hugh Pyper, John Rogerson, Regina Schwartz, William Scott, and Erich Zenger.
Sephardic Jews have contributed some of the most important Jewish philosophers, poets, biblical commentators, Talmudic and Halachic scholars, and scientists, and have had a significant impact on the development of Jewish mysticism. Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry brings together original work from the world's leading scholars to present a deep introductory overview of their history and culture over the past 1500 years.
This anthology sets forth, in three volumes, a selection of Talmudic discussions of problems of enduring social importance. Utilizing the categories that uniformly serve in the description, analysis, and interpretation of a religion that sets forth a theory of the social order, in this case, a Judaism, we ask about how the Talmud of Babylonia discusses topics concerning Torah, God, and Israel. Those categories in their native and classical setting speak of ø1! God's ø2! revealing the Torah ø3! to Israel the holy people. These categories may be represented by the secular words ø1! ethos, ø2! ethics, and ø3! ethnos. They correspond, in a religious system, to the world view, way of life, and social entity. In each case, there is an introduction to a discussion, which specifies how the ancient sages address an issue of acute contemporary consequence. The way in which the Talmud presents its authors' ideas on issues that concern humanity in the twenty-first century is laid out in the Talmud's own language and idiom.
This book shows how, after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the Gospel of the free market became the only world-religion of universal validity. The belief that all value needs to be quantifiable was extended to human beings, whose value became dependent on their rating on the various ranking-scales in the global infotainment system.